The Bookcase Odyssey

You ever have one of those projects that just seems to go sideways from the start?  Sigh.  Home made chippy paint experiment #3.  You'd think I would have learned by now... but no, I'm a sucker for punishment.   Next up - my Ikea Markor bookcases.

It wasn't until I took this photo to show off my newly painted trim that it dawned on me - these bookcases look awful in this space!!



They were fabulous in my log home, but in this house that is rapidly becoming a tribute to Shabby Chic, they had to change.  Quick fix, I think to myself.  I'll use chippy paint & have the whole project done in 4 hours!

I emptied the contents of the bookcases and put everything on my dining room table.  I can't believe how much stuff I had in those bookcases!  It looked pretty sparse to me, but holy cow when, everything is loaded onto a single surface and towering halfway to the ceiling I start wondering if I shouldn't do some more purging.

I washed the bookcases down with TSP, swatting Maggie the cat out of the way every few minutes.  Maggie thinks she makes a very good supervisor, but I find her rather annoying at times.   I mixed the Plaster of Paris into some water and into a 2 cup container of  paint.  I made just enough paint, I thought, to do two coats but those bookcases really sucked that paint right in and I wound up having to mix up another batch to start the second coat of paint.   Even after that second coat, the paint seemed really blotchy and I began to lose hope of this being a quick and easy project.  It had taken me Friday evening and all day Saturday so far, more than three times as long as I figured it would and now it looked like I was about to spend all day Sunday working on it as well...

Then I saw Mimi's post on her fabulous French chair makeover - if you haven't seen it yet, click HERE.  I love this chair and the finish and then I got excited about my bookcases!!  I can do this in the same look and save the 3rd coat of paint.  So I began sanding.  I didn't sand nearly as much as Mimi did, but with a coat of Minwax Furniture Paste in the dark wax shade, the bookcases looked fabulous.
Bookcase on the left has a coat of wax, bookcase on the right does not.
Hard to tell from these photos, but you can take my word for it!  Once the wax has set up for half an hour and been buffed, the surface has a nice sheen that protects it from being scratched.  Then the reloading of the shelves begins!

Much better!
BEFORE
                                                                AFTER
Have a happy and creative week!


47 comments:

  1. Much better! I have yet to experiment with chalk paint, but would like to sometime. The bookcase looks fabulous!

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  2. Anne,
    Love the new look of these book shelves.Much softer look in your room.Your look is really coming together.
    Anne

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  3. The Markor bookcases are one of the finest ever made by Ikea. Don't ever give them up :)

    They look amazing in white and the distressing is spot on. I am happy that you are sharing your chalk paint experiences and saving so many of us from all the hard work :)

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  4. Isn't it amazing what a little paint can do - totally changes the look!

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  5. What an amazing improvement! I love the new look of the shelves and you did a great job.

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  6. I don't think the orignals looked bad but I must say, I like them much better painted!

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  7. I agree, much better! How pretty your book shelves turned out! They don't even look like the same pieces. Love how you've dressed them too! :)
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  8. Funny how paint can change to whole look.....great job

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  9. Hi Anne,
    Yes, those bookshelves totally suit the room now! I love them! I'm glad you found something that worked for you, it's so sad when a project is not working out, eh?
    Hugs, Cindy

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  10. Anne,

    This post made me sad. It made me sad because I love your bookcases and I don't have an IKEA within driving distance anymore.

    I need to write a post....ode to IKEA to cheer me up!

    :) your loyal fan

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  11. I love them! They do look much better! Do you ever sleep friend? :)

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  12. They turned out great and do look much better, your right that type of wood just sucks the paint up. You did a wonderful job!

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  13. Most of my projects end up going sideways and taking five times longer (or more!) than they should. The joys of DIY!

    Your bookcases look great in their new chalk paint outfits :-) I used a clear paste wax on my chalk paint candlestick, but I think I may pick up another can of the dark paste wax for future projects. I have a LOT more chalk paint projects planned! The dogs better not stand still for too long ;-)

    Enjoy your new & improved bookcases :-)

    Kelly

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  14. What a difference. I love anything painted white but these book shelves look fantastic. Your hard work paid off. Thanks for sharing on Simple & Sweet Fridays. I have a Lab named Maggie, good Name... Have a great weekend.


    Jody

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  15. So lovely! Great transformation :)
    Visiting from Treasure Hunt Thursday

    Greetings from Australia♥
    ~Pernilla

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  16. You must be so happy with the result. It is a totally different look and so perfect for the room now.

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  17. Beautiful!!! It is so funny how somethings work in spaces and not others. I am SOOO glad we didn't bring a lot of our stuff here...what works in the states definitely doesn't necessarily work on an island. On their own, I thought the before of the bookcases was awesome. But the after is absolutely fabulous.
    Karah

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  18. Looks great!! I'm wanting to try the homemade chalk paint...just haven't gotten around to it yet...you just might have convinced me!

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  19. Looks great, I agree, much better.

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  20. What a huge difference! I have the opposite problem- I have a white bookcase I want to jazz up- I'll have to get my wheels turning!

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  21. Oh, what a difference. I have heard of chalk paint but haven't tried it yet. I have a dining room table in dire need of fixing. You have inspired me.

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  22. So pretty! Makes a huge difference. Beautiful job!

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  23. You did a great job! So you made your own chalk paint? Interesting... may have to try this.
    Karen
    Ladybug Creek

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  24. They look really, really great. I want them, you already know that. I too, love the paste wax finish. So soft.
    I'm really bummed they aren't making these shelves anymore.

    Thanks for sharing on Show Off Saturday!

    XO

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  25. Wow what a great looking transformation! They turned out so pretty!

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  26. Great job and I would love for you to link it up to Cowgirl Up. I have the same shelves and it is amazing what you did with a can of paint.

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  27. Oh my gosh, they look beautiful! It's a whole new look - so fresh!
    -Shelley

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  28. I really liked the bookcases before, but I'm loving them now! Beautiful makeover!

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  29. Those look so GREAT!! Perfect in the space. I love the distressed look! Thanks for the shout out, you rock girlfriend!

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  30. Another great project! brightens up the space!

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  31. They really do look much better now in this space as they match the trimwork in the room. Good job, chickie!

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  32. Oh, yeah. MUCH better. The white book cases are great. I just stopped over at your turquoise door, too. I'm a first-time visitor today. Maybe I should follow!
    -Revi

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  33. The bookshelves look great! They definitely fit in with the space better. Thanks for sharing.

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  34. Your book cases turned out great!

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  35. I agree the white looks great on the bookcases. Great job.

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  36. Anne-it was more time than you anticipated, but I think well worth your effort! Your stuff looks so much better on the white!
    way to go girl!
    gail

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  37. Beautiful job, Anne! Those bookcases definitely look much better painted. I did the same mix for my own chalk paint and felt it took longer than the regular ASCP chalk paint - more coats. I'd probably do it again in a pinch, but otherwise I will just put the money out for the real deal!

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  38. Saw your bookcases on "You're Talking Too Much" and the difference is astounding! I want to do the same to an oak entertainment unit from the 80s.
    craftythriftydecoratingwifemom.wordpress.com

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  39. Love the shelves in white!

    Sharon @ mrs. hines class

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  40. Nice transformation, Anne! And don't feel bad. My projects SELDOM go as smoothly...or as quickly...as I hope. ;)

    Thanks for linking to Time Travel Thursday again.

    Blessings,
    Liz @ The Brambleberry Cottage

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  41. Your gorgeous bookcases are a feature this week!

    http://daysofchalkandchocolate.blogspot.com/2012/04/features-and-my-new-favorite-thing.html

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  42. They look really awesome white! Great idea to paint them! and good thinking to go with the wax, they turned out really beautiful!

    --Katie

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  43. Beautiful! You did a great job. Thanks for linking up.

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  44. they don't even look like the same pieces! they look amazing!

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  45. Looks awesome. I will be featuring it tonight at my Swing into Spring party that opens at 8pm EST. Please stop by and pick up an I've Been Featured button. Thanks so much.

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  46. Oh yes, much, much better! And like the hardware on your turquoise door, everything just stands out more. What a difference a coat of paint (or two or three...ha ha) makes! And now that I've looked at the date on these posts, I don't feel so badly that I missed them...they were before I started following you! So glad I am now. You're awesome Anne! Have a great Sunday.

    Debbie

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